Procurement and Product Accessibility

Completion of the VPAT in Information Technology RFPs

It is recommended that UC organizations take appropriate steps to ensure they invest in technologies that are accessible to individuals with disabilities. To this end, UC organizations should require IT vendors to provide product accessibility information during RFP and other evaluation processes by submitting a completed Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT). In particular, RFPs should address the accessibility of software and Web applications and, at a minimum, require completion of the appropriate VPAT sections, 1194.21 or 1194.22, as well as 1194.31 and 1194.41.

UC organizations are encouraged to require vendors to complete, when applicable, the VPAT sections on telecommunications products (section 1194.23), video and multi-media products (section 1194.24), self-contained, closed products (section 1194.25), and desktop and portable computers (section 1194.26).

UC organizations may use sample text provided below to request VPAT completion as part of an RFP. In reviewing RFP responses, UC organizations should give significant weight to the vendors who are able to demonstrate commitment to product accessibility.

  • Language for Inclusion in University of California RFPs. Sample text has been developed for inclusion in RFPs to require IT vendors to complete the VPAT in order to facilitate consideration of accessibility in the RFP evaluation process. The actual evaluation process would be described elsewhere in the RFP. Campuses may adapt the text for their particular needs.
  • Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT). The IT Industry Council maintains a template, called the VPAT, which was developed to help buyers assess a product's compliance with accessibility standards. Information about the template is available on the IT Industry Council Web site, which also provides a link to the VPAT itself.

For information about including the VPAT in RFPs, contact Dianne Yoder.